Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Trader Joe's Traditional Pot Roast

Disclaimer: With everything I'm about to say here, keep in mind: I'm not a pot roast guy. Never have been. I was the kid growing up who would run back and forth between the kitchen table and bathroom, flushing one mouthful of pot roast at a time. And there's a good cahnce I never will be. Swampy, stringy, fatty meat? No thanks. I'll eat it, but it's not something I'll really enjoy.

But here goes....a microwave? For pot roast? That's how you're going to tell me to prep this, Trader Joe's, with your Traditional Pot Roast!?!?!? What??? No! Listen, I don't care that it's fully cooked so it just needs to be warmed up - that's wrong. Pot roast comes from the one kitchen appliance that's even easier than a microwave - a crock pot. There's nothing complicated about about a crockpot - only three settings, set it, forget it, almost impossible to screw up. Microwavable pot roast is just bizarre to me - there's nothing difficult or time consuming about crock pots - did we really need to take something simple like a pot roast and make it zap-able?

So, naturally, we made ours in the crock pot, for tradition's sake, and also because we apparently have a compulsion to freeze every piece of meat that comes into our house. Doesn't matter if we're going to eat it in three hours, three days, or three years - into the freezer for you! Ain't no nuking a frozen meat lump properly.

So, pot roast. There's...not much else to say about it. There's nothing flavor or texture or anything wise that sticks out. Imagine a pot roast, and this is almost exactly what you'd get. I will say that the meat itself seems a little less fatty and stringy than the pot roasts I recall from growing up (no offense, Mom, but I always wondered what sins I committed when you served up pot roast), and is properly soft and tender. There's not much in the way of flavor except the natural savoriness of the meat and salt and pepper...

...and corn syrup solids? What....I don't even know what to say here. Except there are corn syrup solids on the ingredients list. I didn't think corn syrup was a thing Trader Joe's was into - well, apparently not, and out of anything, it's on pot roast? Can someone explain this? If some sort of sweetner is needed for whatever reason (you know, sugar and pot roast, BFFs), why not just do some honey or something along those lines? Corn syrup? I'm amazed.

Anyways, we have a split household on the TJ's Traditional Pot Roast. Sandy and B, our youngest daughter (almost 2!) really enjoy it. In fact, it was B's enthusiasm at the TJ sample counter that led Sandy to drop the $8.99 the pound package in the first place. I'm completely indifferent to it (which is actually a compliment from me to pot roast) while M, our four year old, went to bed hungry over the whole thing and ate it for breakfast the next day very begrudgingly. That's my girl. Take from all that what you will.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Traditional Pot Roast: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons


9 comments:

  1. I had to laugh when u mentioned trips to the bathroom.. Personally, I hid mine in my napkin... Pot roast is something I will NEVER like or eat... btw, this product has been at ti's for awhile? right next to the carnitas...

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  2. Have you tried the carnitas that are packaged the same way? I hate microwaved meat, but the carnitas are SO good.

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    1. +1 for that carnitas. It is soooo good! Pick up some TJ's whole wheat tortillas and the Salsa Especial and you're in business!

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    2. I like to throw the carnitas into mac & cheese. It's my favorite "looks more impressive than it is" dinner ;)

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    4. I do the Bool Kogi (Korean beef) with tortillas, shredded cabbage, and sauce of your choice (all from TJs!) for killer Korean tacos.

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  3. There is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Regular corn syrup is okay, high fructose corn syrup is what many people are avoiding.

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  4. You could cut these up, added bagged cooked potatoes, mirepox, and beef stock for a 20 minutes beef stew.

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  5. Personally, I like that it is microwaveable. I work long hours including weekends and most holidays so this works for me. :)

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